About Parkgate > Parkgate Heritage Trail > Old Quay
The Old Quay corner
Nelsons House, or was it?
There is a common belief that Admiral Nelson had either visited or lived in Parkgate, neither of which is true.
However, the house next door to Dover Cottage (No 15) has long been known as Nelson's Cottage, owing to the word "NELSON" spelt out in black pebbles in front of the door on the pavement.
These stones commemorate the death of Nelson Burt, son of Albin Burt, a local artist who lived at this cottage during the summer months. Young Nelson drowned in a Mersey Ferry accident during a storm in 1822, while he and his father were in transit between Liverpool and Ellesmere Port on their way back to Chester. In his grief his father combed the beach here to collect the stones to make this sad memorial to his son..
Is it just a coincidence that the boy was named Nelson and lived next door to a cottage that has direct links to Lord Nelson?
Where's the Chester Hotel?
This picture shows The Chester Hotel, which stood opposite the cottages in Station Road; it was a small coaching inn with stabling for horses. However, in its last few years it was re-named as The Old Quay, probably indicating that it was now a pub. From the sign you can see that the owners Birkenhead Brewery boasted "Celebrated Ales"! The adjacent properties were all subsequently bought by the Brewery and finally all were demolished about 1962, to make way for the development of the present Old Quay pub and car park, which opened in that year.
Lady Hamilton was here
Walking down Station Road past Neston Cricket Club (1895) you come to this mixed row of cottages, which date from Georgian and early Victorian times.
Emma, Lady Hamilton, then known as Mrs Emma Hart, is reputed to have stayed at No 16 Station Road (Dover Cottage) for 6 weeks in 1784, while she sought a cure for a skin complaint.
Amy Lyon was born at Ness in 1765, the daughter of the blacksmith at the then Ness colliery; her father died when she was only a few months old and was brought up by her grandmother in Hawarden. In her early teens she went to London to rejoin her mother. There she mixed in high society and was sent to Italy to act as hostess to the widowed British Ambassador to the royal court of Naples, Sir William Hamilton. She later married him in London in 1791.
Whilst in Naples she met Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and in due course became his mistress. Following Nelson’s death at Trafalgar in 1805, however, she soon found herself in straitened circumstances; shunned by the nation, she died in poverty in Calais in 1815.
These houses were situated at the bottom of Station Road on the south side at the junction with The Parade. The building to the right was the former custom house, sold out of service in 1828; latterly it was the Cosy Café – the adjoining buildings were shops and/or boarding houses. These premises, together with others on the South Parade (seen to the left of the lamp post) were acquired by Birkenhead Brewery and demolished by 1962 to be incorporated into the site of a new public house to replace The Old Quay (formerly the Chester Hotel).